Nashville Business College
Nashville Business College (NBC) was an Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) women's team that dominated organized women's basketball in the United States in the late 1950s and 1960s. The team first made its mark in the early 1940s under Coach Leo Long, who had one of the all-time great players of the game, Alline Banks. The team lost the 1940 title game of the AAU national tournament, but Alline Banks would earn the Most Valuable Player award. The next two years, Banks would repeat her award as the Most Valuable Player, but her team was an also-ran, placing second again in 1941 and third in 1942.
A new coach was hired in 1947, Hall of Fame legend John Head, but NBC in the late 1940s was not playing with the utmost competitiveness, usually playing only a few games a few weeks before the AAU nationals. In 1948, the team managed to take fourth in the tournament, losing third place to the Chatham Mills Blanketeers. Coach Head was largely recruiting from high schools in middle Tennessee, but in 1949 NBC started recruiting for stars. Prior to the AAU nationals, the team typically had played only eight games, but for the tournament they recruited the top player of the decade, Alline Banks, who was now married under the name Alline Banks Sprouse, living in Atlanta, and semi-retired. The dubious recruitment of Banks at most stretched AAU rules. Although Banks was not physically ready to compete, she led NBC to the final game, which was lost to the more seasoned Goldblumes, 35-17. Banks Sprouse amd Fern Gregory were named to the All-American team.
In 1950, NBC won the National AAU title, and typically Alline Banks Sprouse did not play the regular season and was flown in from Atlanta to play at the national tournament in St. Joseph, Missouri. The championship did not come easy. NBC just squeaked by the up and coming Hanes Hosiery, 32-31, in overtime to win the semifinal, setting up the final with the Goldblumes. NBC edged the Goldblumes, 29-28, in the title game. Banks Sprouse scored more than half her team's points, and was selected as the MVP. Her teammate, Doris Weems Light, was also named an All American.
During much of the 1950s, NBC was an also-ran to the Wayland Baptist College team. In 1956, the team took second to Wayland, losing the title game 39-33. In the 1957 tournament, NBC was eliminated in the semifinals by a tough up-and-coming team, Iowa Wesleyan College Tigerettes, and lost again in the third place game to Midland Jewelry.
In 1958, NBC finally won its second AAU national championship upsetting Wayland and ending the school's 131 game winning streak, beating them 46-42. Wayland came back in 1959, and beat NBC in the title game 43-37. In 1960 and 1961, the two teams again traded championships.
In 1962, Nashville emerged as the undisputed dominant power of women's basketball, overwhelming Wayland in the title game, 63-35. This win began a string of 8 consecutive AAU championships in row. The team also managed a 96 game win streak at one point. Many of the great American women players of the mid-20th Century, including Hall of Famers Nera White and Joan Crawford, played for NBC. In a ten year span, NBC placed 13 players on the U.S. national team.